Fredrick C. Crombie

Special Counsel

Fred Crombie is a trial attorney who has litigated matters in both federal and state courts. Fred’s practice focuses on complex civil litigation with an emphasis on tax controversy, government investigations, securities class actions, and shareholder derivative suits. He has also successfully argued cases before the Fourth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals.

Before he joined the firm, Fred was a Trial Attorney in the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where, as first chair, he litigated a variety of tax controversies involving a wide range of plaintiffs, including wealthy individuals, consolidated filing groups, insolvent financial institutions, telecommunications carriers and resellers, payroll processing companies, foreign service corporations, and nonresident aliens. The Department of Justice awarded Fred with three Outstanding Trial Attorney Awards and designated him as an E-Discovery Section Representative for the Court of Federal Claims Trial Section. Fred was also a litigation associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP where he defended technology companies in securities class actions, shareholder derivative suits, commercial and financial litigation, and copyright and trademark disputes.

Notable Representations

  • Achieved complete defense verdict in three-day JAMS arbitration coupled with award that reimbursed client for all attorneys' fees incurred in its defense.
  • Obtained dismissal of class action lawsuit brought against banking institution that served as the custodian of self-directed IRAs.
  • Secured judgment in excess of $110 million on behalf of the United States in precedent-setting employment tax dispute involving ten affiliated payroll processing companies.
  • Successfully defended two-week trial on a $14.5 million income tax refund suit, brought by a non-resident alien claiming to be engaged in the trade or business of gambling on slot machines.
  • Negotiated settlement that extricated the government from an intra-consolidated group tax dispute between the bankruptcy trustee of a bank holding company and the FDIC as receiver of the insolvent subsidiary financial institution relating to ownership of an alleged $374 million tax refund.
  • Represented the government in a tax shelter case involving multi-billion dollar structured transactions that utilized partnerships, special purpose entities, bond portfolios, interest rate swaps, bond forward agreements, and American-style put options.
  • Assisted client in unraveling investments made with well-known personality in the food and beverage industry.
  • Obtained dismissal of multiple shareholder derivative complaints alleging that technology companies backdated stock option grants to their directors, officers, and employees.

Honors & Awards

As a federal trial attorney, Fred received multiple Outstanding Trial Attorney Awards for his work in representing the government in tax controversies.  He also received a “Pro Bono Service Award” from a former law firm.

Professional Activities

Fred is a member of the State Bar of California and the District of Columbia Bar.  He was also a panelist at the IRS Chief Counsel Lecture Series “Tax Litigation in District Courts and Court of Federal Claims,” and has served as a judge for Federal Bar Association’s Thurgood A. Marshall Moot Court Competition.


Fred earned his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, cum laude, in 2002. While there, he was an Associate Editor of the University of Michigan Journal For Law Reform.  Fred received his B.A. in political science from the George Washington University in 1999.